Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap"
Ambassador's Theatre, London
The Japan Times, Tuesday November 26, 2002
British monarch and 'Mousetrap' mark 50 years at top
LONDON (Reuters) Queen Elizabeth and "The Mousetrap" get together on Monday night for a double celebration both have enjoyed half a century at the top in Britain.
In her Golden Jubilee year, the British monarch is off to the theater to see the Agatha Christie whodunnit on the night that performance number 20,807 marks its 50th anniversary as the world's longest-running play.
"The Mousetrap" ranks alongside Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace as one of Britain's must-see tourist attractions and it shows no signs of running out of steam.
Oscar-winning director Richard Attenborough, who was in the original production, will be making the curtain call speech after Monday night's gala performance. Buckingham Palace said it believed the queen was seeing the murder play for the first time. "She doesn't know whodunnit," a spokeswoman said. "So yes, she's looking forward to seeing it."
"The Mousetrap" was originally called "Three Blind Mice" and was written by Agatha Christie in 1947 as a 30-minute radio play to celebrate the then-Queen Mary's 80th birthday.
It took to the London stage the year that Queen Elizabeth took to the throne.
The play has been seen by over 10 million people and performed in 44 different countries.
"The Mousetrap" has three different entries in the Guinness Book of World Records. It is the longest-running theatrical show in the world. It boasts the world's most durable actor David Raven played the role of Major Metcalfe for 4,575 performances. Nancy Seabrooke can lay claim to being the world's longest-serving understudy for 6,240 performances over 15 years.
She would sit patiently out in the wings doing embroidery and crochet.